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Decent Dim Sum in DC?

mrsphud Jul 18, 2008 11:42 AM

Is it still possible to find good dim sum in Chinatown, or must one head out to the MD suburbs? What about close in Virginia?

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  1. m
    Minger RE: mrsphud Jul 18, 2008 12:02 PM

    This is a frequent topic. Do a search on the board for comprehensive answers.

    No. Yes.

    Oriental East in Silver Spring, VA on the red line.
    China Garden in Rosslyn, VA on the orange line.

    1. DanielK RE: mrsphud Jul 18, 2008 12:04 PM

      The dim sum in Chinatown I wouldn't even call passable.

      Oriental East in Silver Spring is really the closest good dim sum to Chinatown.

      There's China Garden in Rosslyn, but I had two very mediocre meals there. Everything else in NoVa is no closer than the suburban MD places.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DanielK
        rheelee RE: DanielK Jul 18, 2008 12:15 PM

        This has been a frequent Chowhound debated topic as stated above. You unfortunately can not find decent dim sum in DC anymore with the gentrification of DC Chinatown.

        I agree with DanielK, my favorite is Oriental East in Silver Spring.

        1. re: rheelee
          KWynn RE: rheelee Jul 25, 2008 11:23 AM

          Oh, how I miss Lei Garden...

      2. chaofun RE: mrsphud Jul 18, 2008 12:26 PM

        If you can drive there are plenty of good places for Dim Sum, searchable here in this board. Otherwise..... a Chinese friend of mine liked Tony Cheng's Dim Sum in Chinatown... I've never had it though. It was also 5 years ago when we last talked about it, so it could have fallen off.

        8 Replies
        1. re: chaofun
          BlueRidgePro RE: chaofun Jul 18, 2008 03:28 PM

          Tony Cheng's in Chinatown (upstairs)
          Mark's Duck House in Falls Church

          1. re: BlueRidgePro
            Ericandblueboy RE: BlueRidgePro Jul 18, 2008 08:14 PM

            Tony Cheng's definitely the best in DC proper. I haven't been to China Garden in years because it's terrible. I suspect they cut a deal with the tour companies to drop off Chinese tourists there so as to make it look appealing. Mark's Duck House and Fortune at 7 Corners are both good. Lucky 3 and Fortune at Reston are terrible. New Fortune in Gaithersburg is decent. It is big so you don't have to wait for a table. Haven't been to any Wheaton joints yet.

            1. re: Ericandblueboy
              dpan RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 19, 2008 06:09 AM

              The bus tours are in a side room apart from the main dining room at China Garden. The dim sum is in the main room and there are good size lines on weekend dim sum when the restaurant opens. The selection is pretty good but I've grown tired of it lately, and I think there's too much grease in the food. I've recently started going to Oriental East and have to say it's the best I've had in DC so far.

              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                Martha RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 19, 2008 08:42 AM

                Fortune in Reston closed a few years ago. It's now a Mama Lucia.

            2. re: chaofun
              aaronsinger RE: chaofun Jul 18, 2008 11:06 PM

              hollywood east in wheaton; just a few steps from the metro.

              1. re: aaronsinger
                chew RE: aaronsinger Jul 22, 2008 12:56 PM

                Just wanted to mention that there was another Dim Sum / Chinese restaurant across the street (University Blvd.) from Hollywood East also - though the name escapes me (Good Fortune?) - in case you find the line / wait too long at any one place. Both are pretty good but Hollywood East has better, more friendly service the last time(s) I went.

                Also keep in mind that there is a Hollywood East Restaurant and a Hollywood East Cafe (same owners I think, but they are located in two different parts of Wheaton).

                1. re: aaronsinger
                  deangold RE: aaronsinger Jul 22, 2008 02:32 PM

                  Hollywood East on the BLVD with a group of 13 last Sunday. $20 bought a feast of really incredible stuff. Best was the shrimp ball with bacon, the shrimp in spicy salt and the abalone 1000 year egg ball, but there really wasn't a clunker in the multitude of dishes we ate. They use little ink markers to indicate how many dishes your party ate, our bill was just solid blue by the time we were done! And that $20 included tip!

                  1. re: deangold
                    gcrkc RE: deangold Jul 31, 2008 05:04 PM

                    We've had Jesse Wong's, Oriental East, Mark's Duck House, New Fortune, Good Fortune, and one in DC that I can't even remember because it was so disappointing. We like Jesse Wong's, but it's too expensive. We like Oriental East and Mark's Duck House well enough, but don't go there because don't see the hype. New Fortune was one of our regulars but the last few times we went there, the quality had really suffered. And it is really tough to go to Good Fortune when Hollywood East is across the street!

                    Hollywood East in Wheaton is our hands down favorite. Husb has eaten dim sum primarily in NYC and agrees it is great and we've even tasted stuff there that his parents probably have never had. One dessert item that I LOVE there are their deep fried green tea balls with black sesame paste inside. It is a must try and a great way to end a more than satisfying dim sum meal.

              2. m
                MarcDC RE: mrsphud Jul 22, 2008 02:54 PM

                another vote for Oriental East

                1. s
                  superdef RE: mrsphud Jul 22, 2008 08:16 PM

                  I used to go to China Garden for dim sum. But time after time they gave terrible service and their food was a little greasy. So I ditched them forever and now go to Oriental East in MD. No looking back.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: superdef
                    tdonline RE: superdef Jul 25, 2008 07:49 AM

                    Agree on China Garden, cruddy service and food. Used to to live in the neighborhood, imagine how disappointed I was to find out the nearby dim sum place wasn't so good...I don't drive so I've kinda given up on dim sum in DC area. I feast when I visit Los Angeles.

                    1. re: tdonline
                      DanielK RE: tdonline Jul 25, 2008 08:28 AM

                      Don't give up - Oriental East in Silver Spring and Hollywood East Cafe in Wheaton are both Metro accessible, and New Fortune in Gaithersburg is a 5-minute bus ride from Shady Grove!

                  2. Chandavkl RE: mrsphud Aug 5, 2008 04:01 PM

                    Actually it's amazing that there's so little dim sum period in Chinatown. Certainly the least availability of any Chinatown in North America, even taking into account that the good Chinese food has migrated from Chinatown to the suburbs in most cities. I guess that's why a lot of the Chinatown restaurants do sell a small variety of baked dim sum items in addition to their normal lunchtime menus, as this is not a common practice in most Chinatowns.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chandavkl
                      DCDeb RE: Chandavkl Aug 6, 2008 02:09 PM

                      It is very sad. When I was a kid, there used to be a number of good restaurants and grocery stores in Chinatown. Unfortunatley, with the gentrification of the area since the opening of MCI/Verizon Center, the old restaurants have all been priced out of the area. They have been replaced with awful chain restaurants which slap (poorly written) Chinese characters on their signs.

                      1. re: DCDeb
                        hill food RE: DCDeb Aug 6, 2008 02:14 PM

                        I don't even call it Chinatown anymore - Forget about it Jake, it's Franchisetown now.

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